KUALA LUMPUR: National players Mohd Firhan Ashaari and Mohd Fitri Saari have opted out of the Project 2013 squad’s playing tour of Europe next week.
However, five new faces will be among 19 players leaving for Europe on Wednesday to play in seven friendly matches.
The five are Safeed Roslan, Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman, Sobirin Ilias, Mohd Najib Abu Hassan and Meor Mohd Azuan Hasan.
All five were called up for training three weeks ago based on their performance in last month’s Pahang Sukma.
Project 2013 squad coach K. Dharmaraj said that Firhan and Fitri, who featured in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in May, had requested to be left out of the tour as they needed a break from hockey.
“The two have been playing almost non-stop since last year’s Sultan of Johor Cup in November. I agreed to let them take a break as it will also give me the chance to check out the five new players in Europe,” said Dharmaraj, who added that he was impressed with the newcomers’ performance.
“I want to see how they perform in the seven friendlies in Europe.”
Three of them – Safeed, Azwar and Najib will be sitting for their SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examinations in November.
The Project squad will play two matches each against the Spain, France and Poland national junior teams.
They will also play one match against a Dutch club before returning home on Aug 19 for the Hari Raya celebrations.
Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, Faiz Helmi Jali, Shahzrul Imran Nazli, Mohd Rashid Baharom, G. Kavin Kartik, Mohd Azri Hassan, Mohd Hafiz Zainol,Mohd Aslam Mohd Hanafiah, Shahzril Irwan Nazli, Mohd Fariq Saadon, Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, Safeed Roslan, Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman, Sobirin Ilias, Mohd Najib Hassan, Meor Mohd Azuan Hasan